Plan for Joy in your next Military Move
What comes to mind when you think of your next military move? Would it be joy? You might be feeling stressed, or overwhelmed. But, joyful??? Is that what comes to mind when thinking about once again moving your entire household and family to a new place, and sometimes at breakneck speed? For our special guest, Bonnie, joy was her focus and joy was what she received.
We interviewed Bonnie, a military wife for over 40 years, and discovered her tips and secrets for a successful military move. And, while her husband has since retired from the military, they moved 21 times during his career. When I asked her to describe what that was like, she said, it was so much fun and brought her tremendous joy! She talked about focusing on her joy throughout the process despite the many challenges, even the time when they only had one week’s notice that they were moving.
How was Bonnie able to repeatedly pack up and move her household with 4 small children and still keep her joy? The main thing was Bonnie’s attitude. But, something else was also significant, and that was to have an organization system that gave her the confidence that the move could be done well so she could keep her focus on getting her family settled once they got into their new home. Having a moving plan with tried-and-true methods in place reduces stress and gives you tools to get the job done well. Upkeepr is the perfect app to add to your bag of tricks to get rid of the overwhelm and make your move a success!
Words of wisdom and secret tips from expert mover, Bonnie
Listen here for the golden nuggets in Bonnie’s interview with us so you can take advantage of what she’s learned along the way. Here are a few things that stand out:
• If you approach it where those things (you own) are so important to you that you fall apart (if they break or get lost), then you lose the value of what those things should be adding to your life, and that is comfort.
• My goal, generally, was to get everything unpacked, pictures hung, curtains hung, and everything, within a week.
• On our first move, I didn’t even think about them (our things) getting broken (in the move), because I thought movers know what they’re doing. Well, after that, I started pre-packing (because a lot of things broke in that first move).
• Ship things in their original boxes and store the boxes for the next move. (paraphrased)
• …so, I started packing the little things, (like Lego pieces), in Ziploc bags.
• Spread heavier items that you may have multiples of, like linens, across multiple boxes rather than one large box, so that the box is not too heavy to move.
• If you move a freezer or a refrigerator, just putting kitty litter in a sock and throwing it in there before you lock it so that it doesn’t stink when you get to the other end.
• Create a “hot box” that contains all the things you need right when you get to your destination, so that when the beds were put together, for example, we could get right to living.
• List the contents of each container in Upkeepr, associated with its box number and the room ID.
• Use a color-coded system to separate items destined for storage vs. items to be shipped to the new residence.
• We had a room that we put police tape over (the entrance) and we put everything in that room that we didn’t want the movers to pack, and one of those things is medical records, and (also) the paperwork that the military member needs to have to sign in when you get to your destination. We always put the most important things in a car and locked it because we didn’t want to chance having it get packed and lost.
• Having an app to make your move organized is extremely helpful if you are the military spouse that’s moving the household while the military member is deployed.
• Photograph or make a video of the things that are going to be packed away so that you have an actual record when you fill out an application to replace something that’s been broken.
• We have a friend whose shipping container dropped in the ocean, so nothing made it there.
• I have a sister whose house burned, and the experience of all those things gone, and having a record of what you had and what you like, is what will make your home feel like home again and help you move on. Just having a record and being able to say I’m so glad I had that for that period of time, brings joy.
• Do the very best you can to prepare, but don’t let the preparation overwhelm your life. Be prepared to control what you can and be prepared mentally to let things go if everything doesn’t go smoothly.
• If it doesn’t go the way you want it, or something gets broken or lost, let it go.
• Have a checklist so that you do things exactly the same way every time so you can practice for emergencies and be ready for the unexpected.
• Check the condition of each item when it arrives.
• Tag items in the app that were damaged and need a claim.
• Having an organized plan and system will help you get rid of anxiety about the unknown. Life doesn’t go the way we plan it, almost ever, and it’s so much better in the end when you’ve just enjoyed it all the way through.
Sign up here for the Upkeepr Military Move guide to create your own personal plan and help you hold onto your joy during your most successful move yet!